When you're feeling tired or run-down, your go-to might be to reach for coffee or an energy drink, but have you heard of the latest trend in wellness that's rumored to do more than a short-lived pick-me-up?
It's called NAD IV therapy, which involves administering nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) through intravenous (IV) infusion.
NAD is an important molecule found in every cell in the body used for metabolic processes, DNA repair, and cell signaling.
The concept behind NAD IV therapy is that increasing NAD in the body may support the body's natural mechanisms involved in energy production to promote overall wellness.
In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of NAD IV, its potential risks, and other ways of supporting your energy levels.
Key Takeaways Of NAD IV Therapy
NAD stands for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, an important coenzyme found in all cells needed for hundreds of metabolic processes.
NAD levels decline as we age, and it's believed that through NAD supplementation, we may be able to maintain cellular health, which may provide anti-aging benefits.
NAD IV drip treatments started as a part of addiction recovery, and now awaydays wellness clinics offer NAD alongside cocktails of other vitamins, minerals, and other supplements for various wellness goals and to treat certain medical conditions from Alzheimer's, Parkinsons', mitochondrial dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, and more.
The long-term benefits and risks of NAD drip treatments aren't well understood, and this treatment isn't widely accessible because of the cost, needles, and time commitment needed per appointment. This is why NR or NMN oral supplements, the precursor to NAD in the body, might be another alternative for those looking to gain potential benefits for overall health.
Related Products To NAD IV Therapy:
What Is Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD)?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD, may have a long name, but this little molecule is a powerhouse in the body's cells.
NAD is a coenzyme required for all living cells to function properly. It's involved in biological processes that include:
Repair damaged DNA
Blood sugar regulation
It works like an election carrier between different molecules during metabolic reactions through its two forms: NAD+ and NADH.
We won't get too detailed into that, but what you need to know is that the balance of NAD+ and NADH is important for maintaining optimal cellular function, and imbalances in NAD may be linked to impaired cognitive function, chronic fatigue, and increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases .
In a simpler context, thinking of NAD as a battery for your body's cells might be more helpful.
Just like a battery provides power to a device, NAD provides energy to your cells to keep them functioning properly.
But as we age, NAD levels decline. And while we can't stop aging, there may be a way to support NAD levels to support one's overall health.
Different forms of NAD therapy, such as NAD IV treatment and oral supplementation that increase NAD levels, are being studied for their potential benefits in supporting a healthy aging process and other metabolic-related conditions .
The History Of NAD IV Therapy
NAD has been used for therapeutic purposes since the early 20th century when scientists discovered its role in cellular energy production.
And in the 1960s, researchers found that NAD could help alleviate addiction withdrawal symptoms.
Dr. Richard Mestayer developed a protocol for using high doses of NAD in IV therapy to treat addiction and other conditions. After receiving the therapy, he observed significant improvements in his patients' physical and mental health. His research found that NAD reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings .
NAD therapy wasn't more widely available until the early 2000s, and it quickly gained popularity in the medical community.
Nowadays, many clinics and wellness centers around the world offer NAD therapy to treat addiction, depression, anxiety, and more. However, the therapy is still controversial, and more research is needed to determine its long-term safety and effectiveness.
How Does NAD IV Therapy Work?
Personalized IV drip therapies have become all the rage in the wellness space thanks to celebrity and influencer endorsements that claim these IV treatments help to improve hydration, enhance recovery, and are a great way to integrate preventative health practices.
NAD IV therapy is just one of the many customizable drip treatments available alongside vitamins, minerals, and other supplement cocktails designed to address specific health goals.
IV NAD treatments involve administering NAD directly into the bloodstream via the veins through a saline solution drip by a qualified wellness professional in a clinic.
An IV treatment is typically administered over several hours, and a number of treatments may be required depending on the individual's concerns.
The idea surrounding NAD IV is that as part of the natural aging process, we also see a decline in NAD levels in the human body, which may be linked to age-related health problems.
And that by NAD supplementation, it may be possible to slow down the aging process and directly address some concerns with chronic fatigue, mental clarity, and athletic performance or turn back the hands of time for a more youthful appearance.
Of course, this is just the theory surrounding NAD IV therapy, and while it might be beneficial for some people in helping them feel their best, it's not a cure-all, nor should it replace treatments advised by a healthcare professional.
What Are The Advantages Of Intravenous NAD Therapy?
When performed by a qualified healthcare professional in a sterile environment, IV NAD therapy could provide numerous advantages, such as immediate hydration and the delivery of essential nutrients into the body with immediate absorption.
The concept behind NAD infusions via IV drip is to bypass the digestive system for a more bioavailable process for delivering NAD.
Oral forms of NAD supplementation aren't effective as the molecule gets broken down by the digestive system quickly and is too large to pass the cell membranes where it exerts its effects.
However, it's still unclear whether this method is truly effective at supplying NAD without degradation to the cells.
With that being said, here are the reported benefits of NAD overall:
Increased energy levels: NAD is used in the energy production within the cells, and through NAD infusion, some people report feeling immediately more energized overall.
Support healthy brain function: NAD is involved in supporting brain health, including memory, focus, and mental clarity. In early animal models, NAD therapy was shown to improve brain function and protect nerve cells from damage, which may help to alleviate symptoms of neurological disorders in the future in human patients .
Support a healthy aging process: NAD has been shown to support the body's DNA repair. Over time, DNA damage can accumulate, contributing to visual and physical signs of aging. Many people use NAD therapy for their purported anti-aging effects .
Support addiction recovery alongside addiction therapy: Substance abuse addiction recovery centers integrate IV therapy, which has been shown to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and support the body's detoxification process [6, 7].
Support healthy mood and stress management: NAD is involved in the synthesis of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are important for regulating mood and emotions. By increasing NAD levels, IV therapy could help to support neurotransmitter balance for those with depression and anxiety .
While some people can feel the immediate benefits of NAD IV therapy, like boosted energy levels and mental alertness, right after their first session, others may need multiple NAD IV drip sessions before they start seeing the benefits.
Problems With NAD IV Therapy
NAD IV therapy is a popular treatment for addiction and wellness, but its effectiveness and long-term safety are uncertain.
For one, IV therapy has its risks, including infections, bruising at the injection site, vein damage, or allergic reactions, and it needs special training and equipment to perform safely. Plus, the ingredients and dosages used in IV therapy must be personalized to suit the individual's health needs, which takes medical expertise.
It's also unknown whether NAD enters cells and has a long-lasting effect.
In contrast, there are safe and effective methods for increasing NAD levels, such as Neurogan Health's NMN Supplements (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide), which is the precursor to NAD.
Another issue with NAD IV infusions is that it requires time (sometimes hours) and can be costly, making it a difficult treatment to integrate into most people's routines.
On top of this, it may help to increase NAD levels temporarily. However, the best way to reap the benefits of NAD is to raise the levels consistently to support biological processes at the cellular level.
Because of these factors, oral supplementation with NAD precursors may be more appropriate for most people.
The Takeaway: What Is NAD IV Therapy?
NAD IV treatment is sometimes used to supplement other forms of treatments for autoimmune conditions and even as part of some addiction recovery programs.
However, NAD infusion isn't always accessible to everyone as it can be quite costly, involves needles and time commitment, and the long-term effectiveness of NAD through IV isn't that well understood.
There are other ways to boost NAD levels, such as oral NMN supplementation, which you can do at home, without needles (and pain), and is much friendlier on the wallet than regular IV NAD infusion.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is NAD IV therapy?
NAD IV therapy is the intravenous delivery of NAD, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, into the bloodstream via saline solution drip for a more bioavailable form of the compound.
NAD is a key coenzyme found in every cell in the human body involved in hundreds of the body's metabolic processes. As we age, NAD levels decline, which is why NAD treatments like NAD IV exist to support overall wellness.
2. What are the NAD IV benefits?
The main benefit of NAD IV therapy is that it delivers NAD directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and liver processing, for a more bioavailable NAD treatment. IV drips also help to improve hydration, which can help with brain fog and fatigue.
Increasing NAD levels overall the in the body is said to support energy levels, is used in the management of chronic fatigue syndrome, protects against neurodegenerative diseases and mood disorders, promotes a healthy metabolism, and is even used as an anti-aging treatment.
3. What are the NAD IV therapy side effects?
We don't know a lot about the side effects of NAD IV therapy since there hasn't been much research on it. However, some people may feel tired, dizzy, or get headaches during or after the treatment. In rare cases, people may have allergic reactions, infections, or damage to their veins.
4. How much is NAD IV therapy?
The price of NAD IV drips can vary significantly depending on the location, provider, and length of treatment. Generally, you can expect the price of a single IV treatment to range from $200–$1000+.
Some places might offer discounts for multiple sessions or packed deals, but NAD infusion therapy is generally on the pricier end. Since NAD therapy is so expensive, it's a much more practical solution to choose NR or NMN supplements that may boost your NAD levels consistently.
5. How should you use NAD IV therapy?
NAD IV therapy isn't something you could do at home. It should be guided by a qualified healthcare professional who may prompt you through an evaluation to ensure that NAD infusion is right for you.
During the NAD IV therapy session, a healthcare professional will administer the NAD+ solution through an intravenous line. The treatment usually lasts several hours, and multiple sessions may be required to achieve the desired effects.
Follow any post-treatment instructions provided by the clinic, such as staying hydrated and avoiding strenuous activities.
Zapata-Pérez, R., Wanders, R. J. A., van Karnebeek, C. D. M., & Houtkooper, R. H. (2021). NAD+ homeostasis in human health and disease. EMBO Mol Med 13 (7): e13943.
Braidy, N., & Liu, Y. (2020). NAD+ therapy in age-related degenerative disorders: A benefit/risk analysis. Experimental Gerontology, 132, 110831.
Gibson, S. B., Mestayer, R., Berg, J., Grant, R., & Dyess, G. (2021). Intravenous Administration of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Improves Cognitive Performance in Human Subjects: Implications for Clinical Populations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 102(10), e42.
Zhao, Y., Zhang, J., Zheng, Y., Zhang, Y., Zhang, X. J., Wang, H., ... & Fu, J. (2021). NAD+ improves cognitive function and reduces neuroinflammation by ameliorating mitochondrial damage and decreasing ROS production in chronic cerebral hypoperfusion models through Sirt1/PGC-1α pathway. Journal of neuroinflammation, 18(1), 1-16.
Imai, S. I. (2010). A possibility of nutriceuticals as an anti-aging intervention: activation of sirtuins by promoting mammalian NAD biosynthesis. Pharmacological research, 62(1), 42-47.
Braidy, N., Villalva, M. D., & Eeden, S. V. (2020). Sobriety and satiety: is NAD+ the answer?. Antioxidants, 9(5), 425.
Blum, K., Han, D., Baron, D., Kazmi, S., Elman, I., Gomez, L. L., ... & Badgaiyan, R. D. (2022). Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) and Enkephalinase Inhibition (IV1114589NAD) Infusions Significantly Attenuate Psychiatric Burden Sequalae in Substance Use Disorder (SUD) in Fifty Cases. Current Psychiatry Research and Reviews Formerly: Current Psychiatry Reviews, 18(2), 125-143.